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Don Massey

Edmonton, Reidmore Books, 1990. 52pp, paper, $10.95
ISBN 0-919091-48-2. CIP

Grades 2 to 4/Ages 7 to 9
Reviewed by Edith Strocen.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

Don Massey, a professor in the Elementary Education Department at the University of Alberta, has written a book describing an Australian, a French, and a Chinese family. Each family is described separately, but the format is the same for each unit.

Several teachers examined the book and offered their opinions. It fits in with the grade 4 social studies program for Manitoba rather well. Although the reading level was judged to be more in the grade 2 to 3 range, we felt it would be an excellent book for grade 4 stu­dents who need easier resources.

Other good features include the excellent photography, key words highlighted by bold type and defined in a glossary, and the use of symbols at page comers to indicate content. For example, the symbols allow students to compare topics like transportation of Australian, Chinese and French families easily. There is a generally clean, uncluttered and easy-to-read look about the book. The cover is colourful, consisting of the top of a globe circled by children holding hands.

I have one criticism: there are no minority groups featured, mentioned, or acknowledged even visually. However, I am not sure this is a valid criticism since the book's purpose seems to be to describe only three families, one from each of the aforementioned countries.

It is hoped that Massey might be induced to write more books of this nature, concentrating on other countries. We need more attractive, readable books for social studies in the lower grades.

Edith Strocen, Greenway School, Winnipeg, Man.
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